Published: 09/22/2022 21:20:12

In May 2021 and more than a year into the pandemic, the Recorder hosted a virtual community forum to provide the public with an opportunity to meet our news team and ask us questions. Back then, we had all been through a lot.

It was a productive session as we listened to the ideas, comments and suggestions expressed by subscribers. It was encouraging to hear how many of you care about this local paper and the work we do.

We have learned that there is still a wide range of issues that you would like us to cover and explain, be it local government, education, business, sports, arts or stories about interesting people and places that populate our neighborhoods and cities. and cities. One topic – the climate crisis or climate change – resurfaces during these conversations. We took note and, as any intrepid journalist could do, we opened a file.

Special projects or in-depth stories require time, resources and editorial commitment. I am proud of the work our news team has been able to accomplish over the past two years of societal upheaval brought on by the pandemic. The public health crisis has posed its own set of unique challenges for news gathering, and our reporters, editors and photographers have done their best to tell that story. But if we were going to tell another radical story, that of our climate change and its impact and unfolding in our own backyard, we needed a little nudge to get there.

Last year, in conjunction with the Local Media Foundation, the Recorder, along with its sister papers the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Athol Daily News, launched a community fundraising campaign through the Local News Fund 2021 The aim was to help fund “Climate Change at Home”, a special reporting project which begins tomorrow in the weekend editions of the three newspapers and online. The series, which is also sponsored by Whalen Insurance of Northampton, will run for the rest of the year.

Our goal is to chronicle the important work being done locally in the fight against climate change and the impact of our changing environment on our lives, work and priorities in the Connecticut River Valley. You’ll hear from scientists and environmental experts, farmers and activists, educators and organizations. You will also hear the stories of your neighbours, including our next generation youth, and the actions being taken on a personal level and within government.

This expanded coverage will appear weekly under our “Climate Change at Home” logo, in print and online. We are also launching a bi-weekly podcast series hosted by Amrita Acharya, podcaster and senior at Smith College. The podcast, available on recorder.com, atholdailynews.com and gazettenet.com, begins Saturday and explores the perspectives and work of those committed to tackling climate change and seeking to make a difference in the Valley and the -of the.

In addition to the podcast and stories from our own news teams, we were able to bolster our coverage with contributing editors and experts on the subject of climate change. Our opinion page remains a welcoming place for those who wish to contribute to the discussion, and we also encourage ideas for articles on this topic. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and [email protected]

We are grateful to those who have supported this project financially and who appreciate original reporting as well as to those who support the Recorder and Athol Daily News through subscriptions and other means. The support is meaningful and gives confidence to our team as we do the essential work of delivering the daily news and keeping you informed, while helping to tell one of the defining stories of our time.

Dan Crowley is the editor of Pioneer Valley.